Ahh, Velcro. When it comes to shoe retention, it’s tough to beat the wonderful hook and loop material for its blend of easy adjustment, a secure hold, low weight and most importantly, affordability.
Fi'zi:k is the latest company to bring the satisfying material back to cycling footwear with the new budget-friendly Tempo Powerstrap R5 road shoe. Ahead of a full review courtesy of our mates over at CyclingTips, we've taken an early look at the Italian company's latest affordable cycling shoe
- Related Reading: Choosing Cycling Shoes: What to Know
Priced for all
With a premium aesthetic and a competitive weight, The Tempo Powerstrap R5 sell for an impressive figure of just AU$170. With Fi'zi:k offering the new shoes in a choice of four colourways, it’s clear they expect these to be a popular pick.
The key feature is the new “Powerstrap” velcro retention. This sees two generously wide straps crisscross the shoe at angles more akin to how Boa wires are commonly used. Fi'zi:k claims this provides a “customized fit and compression” by working with the synthetic leather upper, as opposed to just pinching the foot from the top like traditional strap configurations.
A carbon-reinforced nylon sole is telling of the price. It’s a lightweight and relatively stiff material, but not to the level that more expensive carbon fibre provides. The sole is specifically for use with three-bolt cleats (road pedals from Shimano, Look, Time, etc) and offers basic cleat position markings.
A look inside the shoe reveals a silicone gripper at the heel cup and a basic innersole with a medium amount of arch support. The outer sole offers non-replaceable, but well-sized heel and toe grippers.
Early days yet
The Fi'zi:k Tempo Powerstrap R5 shoes are in with CyclingTips as part of a larger budget road shoe comparison. Tech writer Dave Rome will be doing the testing and shares some early impressions.
“My size EU43 samples weight a respectable 562g for the pair, a figure that’s in the realm with some of the most expensive shoes on the market.” He says, “add to that the stylish look, a simple but effective retention design and a sole with reasonable stiffness, these new shoes offer impressive value for money.”
“These shoes are getting a fair amount of attention and I think it’s deserved. The way Fi'zi:k has combined velcro retention in a premium layout is quite clever, and it does seem to add to the shoe’s comfort and stability.” Rome adds, “it feels funny to praise the use of a velcro, but for how it’s used, it’s almost exciting again.”
According to Rome, the fit will be one to watch for. “With just a regular width fit available, the Tempo Powerstrap’s run on the narrower end of the market. They feel narrower through the toebox than an equivalent Shimano, with a fit more like a premium race shoe.”
“Lengthwise, they’re exactly in line with other popular shoes, including Shimano. And with half-sizes available (in most markets), those with average or narrower width feet should find comfort. As with most shoes though, they’re one to try before you buy.”
The CyclingTips comparison is still a few months away. In the meantime, be sure to check out CyclingTip’s comparison of budget road pedals, and see BikeExchange’s guide to cycling shoes for more information on getting clicked in.